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Years ago I bought these fabric pens. They looked nifty, I figured I'd find a use for them at some point. I've dragged them through a few moves now and keep running into them in my sewing room when I don't need them. But without fail, every single time I have found a use for them I have been unable to find them. Last time I ended up using crayola washables that ran. This time I'm figuring maybe sharpie. So freaking annoying.

Here's a little something to make my blog worth reading, it's recipe time!

Banana chocolate chip pancakes

1 cup whole wheat flour (all purpose flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
2 ripe, mashed bananas
1 egg
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt (sour cream)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (I tried milk, they don't melt and it's better with the bitter-sweet contrast of dark chocolate and sweet batter, but sometimes you have to use what you have on hand, the original recipe didn't specify what type to use)

Add dry to wet, mix and cook like normal pancakes.

This recipe was given to me by a friend down here (original recipe is in brackets) and I've made a few changes to accommodate the things I always have available. Sour cream is just one of those things that I never have around, and while I'm sometimes willing to go out in the afternoon to buy it for veggie dip, I can't get motivated to hit the grocery store before breakfast. Incidentally, the few times I have used the sour cream it didn't seem to make a difference whether I used full fat or fat free. I tried the yogurt substitution this morning and I couldn't really tell the difference either, so I'll be going that way from now on. The whole wheat flour is a bit more noticeable of a change, but doesn't really have an adverse effect on the end product. That substitution is more for health reasons than convenience.

Yesterday I took my first serious go at dyeing. Previously I've dyed up a bit of trim, a few pairs of undies and the silk for my apprentice belt in RIT and played with dye vats set up by others (Mona's vats at Quad wars, Mistress Etaine (spelling?) back in Trinovantia, tye dyeing with Girl Guides). This time I went with the indigo kit from Dharma. It's still pretty idiot-proof to be honest. Made some variegated wool that still isn't dry yet to turn into more soakers for Georgia and completed the main purpose, which was to dye some lovely suiting weight, natural coloured linen into something a bit more interesting. I've ended up with a relatively even dye job (I'm sure someone more experienced would find flaws with it but I'm happy enough) in a lovely medium blue. I'm hoping it will get turned into an apron in time for Pennsic. It better because the only other apron I have is the exact same purple as on of my underdresses, so if I'm going to wear that underdress I need another apron.

DSCF0025 DSCF0027

Also finished up the last construction details of the baby cart. Just have to urethane it now. Totally looks like it's going to work, but as it is a bit heavy, it still remains to be seen if it will get used on site.

Anyway, off to get some sewing done before the bout tonight. I'm part of the pre-game derby 101 show this time.
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I love my home. I can feel it when I start getting close to Austin. There's something about driving through the Texas countryside that just puts me at ease and melts all my stress away. Oddly I got that same feeling on the roads driving North of Guelph to my Laurel's house. I'm thinking it's because it was driving Ontario back roads like those that got me to my husband's place back in University when we were dating. London doesn't give me that feeling. I'm thinking it might be because high school was pretty shit on the whole and there are just too many places there that can bring me back to those things I'd rather not remember. Nothing hurts like it did back then, but it's still vaguely uncomfortable. And to be honest, I never really liked London that much. Still not as depressing as Windsor though. Man that place is a hole.

Anyway, the visit home was a whirlwind. Sunfest was very enjoyable as usual and I have some great shots of the family hanging out there on a blanket. A shame none of y'all made it out there as it was a grand afternoon. Georgia enjoyed the music and outdoors just as much as I thought she would. She was also pretty pleased with the AGO show about art and the theater. Baby appreciated the pretty ballerinas and their live performance. She also enjoyed being toted around in her sling for most of the show. Nothing makes that girl happier than time in the sling. The beach at Grand Bend was good for the half hour or so Georgia and I were awake there. The nap we enjoyed there for several hours was much-needed as well. I was sad to see when driving in to town that the restaurant Jason took me to right on the water had been torn down and was being replaced by condos. I have this socialist idea that the beachfront property should be public places like parks and restaurants overlooking the water, not housing for the elite. But as always, what the money wants the money gets.

The trip to Tangwystl's place was a total highlight for me. An afternoon chatting on her porch with the breeze blowing past. Watching her take the sheep out to pasture when the evening brought cool. Walking out to see the "longhouse". Letting Georgia pet a month old lamb. Listening to her squeals of delight as she encountered horses for the first time (and later having to scrub horse snot out of my hair because I apparently smelled delicious). I wish I could do that more often (the farm, not the snot).

While we were gone Georgia mastered cruising. She really liked my mother's relatively small and stuffed full of furniture family room as it gave her lots of surfaces to transition between. She also learned how to say "Dada", which Jason finds endlessly thrilling. She has also decided that all veggies are evil. She's not terribly impressed with bread. She will now only eat eggs, cheese and fruit. Mostly fruit. She has earned a new nickname... the little fruitbat.

Since getting home I've been pretty violently ill with some sort of cold or flu. Lots of body aches and snot and a headache that made me want to drive a spike into my head. Hopefully I'm starting to turn a corner as I don't feel as vile today as I did yesterday.

I've almost got us all unpacked and the laundry is coming along. Got 2 loads done on the day we came home and another two the day after but then came down with the ick and everything has stagnated since then. Now it's on to Pennsic prep. At this point I have just a little over a week to get everything done and it is quite the monumental to-do list.

Tasks divided by category and listed in decreasing importance

- 2 apron dresses for myself (both started)
- 1 apron dress for myself and 1 for Georgia out of cloth that I still have to dye
- 3 Eura dresses for myself in various stages of completion right now
- 2 more Eura dresses for Georgia, not yet started
- 1 or 2 shirts for Jason
- a couple of coifs/hoods for Georgia (she probably will just pull them off but I can try)
- Coat for Georgia
- Coat for myself
- Embroidery on Eura dresses (something to do in the car perhaps)

- apply finish to cart and install the last few pieces
- apply finish to the new bed (purchased from Ikea - yay)
- apply finish and some sort of paint job to Georgia's toy box (likely won't get done this year)

- launder all of Jason's costumes to freshen them up
- locate various lost camp items

- Finish the piece of weaving I'm working on now and pre-wash the trim I plan on using
- Dye fabric for apron dresses
- Do a dry-run on both the tent and the bed to ensure I have all the pieces and that everything is in good repair
- clean the entire house and have it prepped for a guest as my sister arrives the day we get back and I know I won't have the time or energy to deal with it then

We've decided to leave the neighbour girl in charge of the dogs while we're gone. We'll be paying her about half of what a kennel would have cost and she'll be most of the way to a new laptop when it's all done, so win-win. Also means I don't have to deal with packing their crap or driving them to a kennel and picking them up. Might be boring for them having to spend most of the vacation in their cage, but that's what happens when you chew and dig.
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We made it safely though the vacation has just started I am already exhausted. Haven't really made plans with anyone yet as I am simply too tired to focus. Hoping I will feel better after a good night's sleep.

Also, won't be posting much as I only brought the iPod. I imagine I'll write about the trip when it's all over.
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It's bad when I get obsessed with something. I start it and I just have to finish it to see how it will work out. The cart is one such project. Got a little more progress on it this evening. Wheels have their first coat of polyurethane as does the bed. Once the wheels get their 3 coats I'll be applying the tires. I still have to add the following parts to the cart:

- handle
- hinged legs on fold-down bed
- device to secure the bed in the upright position

All of these bits require yet another trip to Lowe's for parts (thick dowel, hinges and some sort of locking nut bolts).

After that she's almost done. Just a matter of doing the final sanding and applying some sort of protective treatment. I've already decided on Satin finish Polyurethane for the plywood bits, but I haven't committed to anything with the solid wood parts yet. I'm undecided between more polyurethane and tung oil. My mother pointed out that G might chew this thing (the only parts I've finished so far are out of chewing range being outside the bars or under a mattress) so a food-safe finish might be a good idea. But it's going to Pennsic, so who knows what it's going to get dragged through, which makes durability king. Thoughts?

Anyway, it's coming out more like a rickshaw than a cart, but I'm happy with it. The whole thing packs flat using 6 pegs, 2 hitch pins and 2 mini-shims. Because it's two-wheeled it can turn on a dime. The mattress seems to fit in there just fine and it's strong enough that Jason was able to drag it with me inside. Not that it was the easiest thing in the world with my weight, but it was possible.

In other news the packing is not happening at all yet. I've got 2 nights left to pack and I haven't even done laundry. Maybe I'll try to get something done on that front tomorrow.

In Georgia news she has learned how to clap on command. When she's in the right mood I can ask her to clap and she does. And everyone is delighted and tells her what a good job she's done which makes her grin wildly and giggle with pleasure.

Off to have a quick sawdust-removing shower before bed. Dentist appointment in the AM, re-booked from the one I missed on Monday. Here's hoping I remember and make it on time.
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Why is it that I can never do anything just right the first time? The cart is nearing completion and I am discovering several calculation errors as I go. I have also figured out fixes for most of them, but version 2.0 will be a much better cart. If I ever bother that is. By the time I'll have the time available to build 2.0 it will be next Pennsic and I'm not sure if a cart is the best way to transport a 2 year old. By then I might upgrade to wagon as I might be able to reason with her not to throw herself out. Of course that might be overly optimistic.

There's a few mistakes that were just screw ups as I was making it. I'm doing my best to fix those as I go, but it's sloppy looking. There's a minor miscalculation that is causing me to jury-rig a fix for holding the back up when it is in the "up" position.

Then there are the design errors...

Version 1.0 ended up having sides that were only 24 or so inches high as that was the length of the dowels cut in half. My original plan would have had them the 27 inches of a standard crib, but materials usage efficiency caused there to be a change on the fly. Unfortunately I did not change the rest of the plan to accommodate these shorter sides. As the mattress will now stick up at the back I should have made the base longer.

I'm also questioning my decision to have the reclining bit at the back. I could more efficiently hide the legs if they were lined up with the handles, but then the baby couldn't see me. That said she's only seeing my back when I'm dragging her anyway, so a view at the world going past behind us would probably have been more interesting. I'll have to think more on this.
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Last year we had a really hot, dry summer with ridiculously tight watering restrictions (1 day per week) and a lot of stuff simply didn't make it. My neighbour's tree looked good and dead, but miraculously in the super-wet spring it made a come-back. New growth started pushing out from the trunk. unfortunately, all the old branches were good and dead. So what they ended up with was this core of green surrounded in a halo of dead, grey branches. Today (with their permission) I went out there on one of G's naps and hacked away at the tangle of dead to give the new growth room to stretch out. After an hour of labour in the mid-afternoon Texas heat I've managed to hack away everything that I didn't need a ladder to reach. I'm going to leave the rest of it for a few weeks and see if any of it starts growing too and if not I'll deal with it after we get back from Ontario. In the meantime it will annoy me a lot less.

Back out into the heat to play with power tools in the garage now I think...
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Originally uploaded by rthrelkeld
The only picture of me at the event... looking at my feet as I climb the stairs, carrying a diaper and a modern water bottle - sigh. My most modern moment of the entire day. Rly. For the rest of the day I had her in a baby sling and carried no stuff, but this was on the way to do a diaper change. At the time I said to the guy that it wasn't a great shot, but he didn't offer to let me put down the stuff and take another, better picture. Ah well.

And yes, I am aware that red and purple are not the best combination, but this was the only linen underdress that was both completed and clean and I haven't managed to finish any of the aprons I started yet. Though the only linen one I've started so far is the exact same shade of purple anyway.

G had on all linen, an amber necklace and leather shoes. She's wearing a modern diaper without a wool cover, but as it was one of the all-in-one cloth ones that never leak I couldn't be bothered with one more layer in the Texas heat. That said it was an indoor event and they had the AC cranked right up to arctic temperatures. We ate our lunch outside in the courtyard anyway and that was pleasant.
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Went to an event in Houston Saturday. Just Georgia and I and some people we brought to help cover the cost of the gas. Jason stayed home and didn't do a whole lot of anything with his day off as far as I could tell. I took classes on:

* Planting your own herb garden - class was meh, no handouts, didn't learn anything I wouldn't have learned from a modern gardening seminar
* Some sort of dance class - the ones where all you do is walk in time to the music, Georgia LOVED this, music, walking and occasionally spinning around, everything baby likes
* Period place-settings and table manners - excellent class, wonderful handouts
* Fingerloop braiding - not intentional, I was looking for somewhere to have a nap and I passed the room and the teacher seemed overwhelmed so I wandered in to help. I just stood next to her making more kits (she didn't have enough) and untangling her yarn. I was ACTUALLY helpful, not the "helpful" where someone wanders in and takes over a class. And she didn't do the braids the way I do them, or the way they are done in the Compleate Anachronist on the subject, so it was very good that I demonstrated the self-control to not try to "help". When people asked me questions I actually answered "sorry, can't help you, ask the teacher".
* Period Ointments - Same person that did the herb class, so just about as useful. However there was a woman in the class who was GREAT with babies so Georgia had an excellent 2 hours playing with her and I did come away with some massage oil and enjoyed the conversation, so overall I'd call it a win. More of a win in terms of socializing than learning though.

The drive was somewhat frustrating. I only had 1.3 hours of sleep the night before and I was doing all 6 hours of driving, so I was extra irritable. One of the passengers considered herself good with babies (she is a part time nanny apparently) but made Georgia cry and fuss when she started out calm, so that was frustrating as all heck for me. She'd do things like trying to fish Cheerios out of the car seat from under her. If the baby is calm just leave her alone already. No point in even stopping the car to calm her because I knew this woman would just set her off again. So most of the drive was spent with screaming baby and the woman saying "I'm sorry" to Georgia over and over.

Lunch was good if you got there early, but apparently they didn't have enough food for everyone. I was 2nd in line so it worked out fine for me.

Today Georgia woke us up early and I decided to go out and tackle the lumber in the garage. There still isn't room to park the van indoors like I'd hoped for, but I'm almost done making the baby cart (still haven't completely assembled it yet so I honestly don't know whether it will work). Have to run out to Lowe's tomorrow because I need a few more parts to finish it.

That's probably the last project I will get done this week as I have to turn to packing for the Ontario trip. So much to do and never enough hours in the day.
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In preparation for Pennsic I picked up a necklace for my daughter yesterday. Any good norse woman needs some amber and my baby will be no exception. I also finished her first apron dress today. Add that to the two eura dresses I have already done and she has 2 whole outfits. And I suddenly realize why parents either don't attend Pennsic or leave their children at home. It's not the parties, or the weird people their children might be exposed to, or the drums keeping them up all night, it's having to make a week's worth of clothing that will be worn once.

When I make something for myself, I have a reasonable assurance that it will be worn at least a few times. Even if I realize it is horrible and I've done it all wrong (oh come on, we've all been there right?), I probably will have worn it a few times before I realize that. And if I did it well it will last me for years and be worn and loved for many events. But it's a whole different game with children. Outside of Pennsic, even the most active SCA family will probably only want one or two outfits for their children, because normally you just need enough for a weekend and then you go home to normal clothes and your washing machine. And we're not even really that active now! I go to maybe 3 or 4 events a year. Even assuming the stuff I'm making will fit for a whole year and I make only enough for a new outfit every other day I'll still have one or two outfits that never get worn outside of that one time at Pennsic!

[ profile] rectangularcat suggested that I make the outfits but don't finish the seams. I don't really see the point in that. I have a serger, so finishing the seams takes no time at all. If I finish it, the garment can in theory last for years, even if I don't need it to. If I don't finish the seams it might fall apart while she's wearing it and it probably won't make it through the wash. Not finishing would essentially make it like a disposable item, and for the extra few minutes I might as well do it right.

While I had high hopes that I might be able to make her garments out of scraps I've encountered a problem... I now have a pattern so efficient for my dresses that I simply don't get scraps. I figured out a way to get an apron dress for me and one for her out of a yard and a half of fabric, but that's only going to work this year. By next year I'll have to re-think and re-design because the scraps resulting from my apron dress won't be enough to make anything for her.

It's annoying to think that this time next year, and every year thereafter, I'm going to be going through all the same pre-pennsic sewing crunch. And that I will probably have to buy fabric for it because I simply don't have any large enough scraps to work with and won't be coming up with any in the course of sewing my usual stuff.

I hope our second one (no I'm not pregnant, but I'm hoping that there will be a second one some time in the future) will be a girl because it will just kill me if I have to do this for two kids and can't pass any of it down.

The plan for this year is 9 days at Pennsic, so 4 dresses and 2 aprons and if everything gets dirty I'll do a bit of laundry for her in a wash basin. That makes me half-way done at this point, so that's good at least.

My stuff is coming along slowly but steadily. I also made myself an apron dress today, though I didn't finish mine. I'm hanging it for a few days before I hem it and I haven't applied the straps either. I might weave up some trim for it, but then again I might not. We'll see how motivated I get. Back to the machine to finish up the last dress I have cut out and then figure out where I'll go from here.
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Georgia is really coming along developmentally these last few weeks. She can easily stand supported with just one hand for extended periods. She can take a few steps with her little Ikea walker cart thingy. She can sign "change" and "milk" and has decided her word for solid foods is "nom nom nom". She definitely recognizes more people now. Gets excited when she sees Beth from next door or Sunny and Alexandra. She's known my parents on the internet for months now and perks up when she hears the sound of an MSN video call being initiated. Makes me wonder how far along she'll be by the time we head off to Pennsic. Will she be walking I wonder?

The wool diaper covers are working out surprisingly well. I really enjoy knitting them so I'm thinking I need to make a bunch more and pick up more fitted diapers. I'm getting up to the point where I could go almost a week without doing diaper laundry (which would be gross beyond words, I'm just saying my stash is ridiculous now). So far I'm loving my Sweet Pea covers best (the prices have gone up since I bought them, so sorry to anyone else that might fall for these) with prefolds. I like my Bumgenius for going out. I still like my Dream-eze for overnights. And when we're bumming around the house I've been putting her in fitteds and wool. So far I've tried a local brand of fitted (you can't buy them online) and they seemed super-absorbent and really soft. I will be getting more of these for sure. I've tried kissaluvs and they seemed to get soaked quickly but I like that they are snaps. I've also been using Thirsties Fab Fitted, and they seem to work really well so I'm ordering more of those online.

Pennsic prep is coming along. Got another dress mostly sewn today. Just need to decide what color to do the contrasting embroidery in and I can finish the neckline, wrists and hem. No, I am not embroidering the hem, this is going to Pennsic after all, I just haven't gotten to hems on any dress yet. That brings me up to 1 finished dress (the one in my userpic) 3 almost-finished dresses and 1 cut out and waiting to be sewn. Trying to decide how many of these I need... I'm there for 9 days. Will I want to wear these new dresses the whole time or will I want to wear Roman on occasion? How many aprons will I need? Decisions decisions...

Georgia has 2 dresses completely done now. I'm thinking I'll make her 4 or 5 and we'll try to get by the whole week on that. If I have to hand-wash a few of her things to make it through the week that's what I'll do. I should try to get all of her sewing done this weekend. And yes, pictures of all the cute baby clothes will be coming along, but for now... sleep.
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I haz migrane. It hurts so much I want to barf. Soooo not going to roller derby tonight. Wish Jason was coming home so I'd get fed, but I'm on my own tonight so will probably end up headachy AND hungry. Today officially kinda sucks.
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I love Target! Yesterday I found SCA appropriate footwear for my baby. They only had them in sizes up to 24 months, but as she's just in the 0-6 month size now at 10 months my hopes are high for these lasting a few years. And they were on clearance! Managed to get every size but the 12-18 month ones. Go me and go Target!

The sewing is coming along slowly. I got Georgia's sleeves hemmed yesterday on her second dress. Think I might tackle all the hems today so I can start fresh on new dresses tomorrow.
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First thing not to do:
Do not try to sew something when tired. More precisely do not cut your favorite piece of fabric that you've been drooling over all week when tired. And do not try to do so while rushed. I had one step that I needed Jason's help for and he wanted to go to bed so I said "just help me with this and then you can sleep". I measured it once, he questioned my measurement but I was sure of myself and didn't double check. We marked it off, he went to bed, and I proceeded to cut the body of my dress 10 inches too short - fuck.

Second thing not to do:
Do not attempt to fix this mistake when both tired and now angry. I figured out how to recover the body but needed to re-cut the arms as a result. Measured it fine, didn't make sure the cutting mat was under the cut line before running the rotary blade over it. Lovely dining room table now has an annoying gash in it that probably no one else will notice, but that will mock me until I refinish the table and sand it out. Which of course I am not going to do for years because I have a baby who will probably add more gashes and crayon and marker and all manner of things that I will have to come back and fix when she's old enough to know better. It's just annoying that I was the one to make the first mark.

Third thing not to do:
Do not stay up all night because you simply have to see if your reworking of the pieces is going to produce a functional garment. Yes, after all this, even though I knew my math should be good at this point and that it will fit fine I had to stay up all night and push through its assembly. And measure and cut a few more dresses for good measure. To redeem my measuring skills I guess. Tomorrow morning (will come in about an hour when baby wakes up for her first feeding) is going to hit me hard.

On the bright side, the dress is together and no one will be the wiser. The seam allowance had to be smaller than my usual and the front slit is going to have to be hand finished in buttonhole stitch rather than simply pressed and turned, but it will look fine to anyone who doesn't know I didn't plan it that way. Just need to finish that slit, hem the bottom and wrists and I'm one dress closer to my Pennsic wardrobe. Add that to the one dress that was completed months ago, the dress that is all but hemmed from last week and I'm up to 3 dresses for 10 days - eeep. There's also one dress cut out and a final length of fabric on the table waiting for that long, 2-person measurement. Need a few apron dresses to wear over these and I can round out my wardrobe with the 4 or 5 Roman outfits I have and I'll be good to go. It's later than I'd hoped (I wanted all my stuff done by mid-June), but I may yet get this all done in time for Pennsic.

Still on the Pennsic to-do list after my clothes are outfits for Georgia, a few new shirts for Jason and attempting the cart for Georgia.
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Just posting this so I can go back and see it later...

WFTDA has a set of minimum skill requirements for derby girls. One of which is to be able to make 25 laps of the track in 5 minutes. We had our skills test on Wednesday and I managed 28. I thought that the minimum was 20, so I'm going to have to check if they've changed it or if I was just misinformed. Still, let's see if I can't do better next time.
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Have spent the morning mulling over the concept of a baby-cart for Georgia. I think I've got it all worked out so tomorrow I will go and pick up the lumber and maybe I'll start playing with it over the weekend. I figure it will run be about $60 for parts, then another $30 for the mattress and maybe a bit more to cover it with a pretty fabric. Or I might just end up making some very expensive firewood, we'll see.

Also in the plans is cutting out more Eura dresses and an apron or two. Might even go and cut out the first apron right now while G naps.

In other news, the house stinks. It smells like garbage and I have no idea where it is coming from. I have dragged the garbage out of the garage and aired it out. I have taken out the kitchen garbage, I have run the sink disposal and put lemons down it and I have searched the fridge for bad food. I've opened the windows (and it is shittingly hot today I might add) and burned scented candles and still I am defeated. Off to take another pass at it I guess...
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Had a brilliant lightbulb moment last night with respect to my costuming... specifically that I've wanted to make wool trim for some time but it always felts all to hell or bleeds dye or both... why not use sock yarn? Until I started knitting I didn't even know there was such a thing. It is wool, sometimes blended with other fibers, that is treated to resist felting and be machine washable. While this strikes a blow to being period, it does allow the use of both wool and a washer, which makes it not the worst idea every for camping clothes. Sock yarn is also fine enough to not be ridiculously thick (or at least I don't think it will work). Anyway I picked up a few skeins of solid colors today and I will give it a shot sometime this week and report back.

Haven't accomplished much else today. Stayed up REALLY late reading LJ after I posted my last entry because I was missing everyone. Maybe not the best choice in the world as far as being awake and able to function today. Have roller derby practice this afternoon, I anticipate having my butt handed to me in a glorious way.
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I cheated a bit, I passed the ugh point by throwing it in a bunch of boxes and tossing it up on top of my shelves. Not the most visually appealing solution to the problem, but far better than them all being piled up around the floor. Still have 3 metal strips to hang (that you can stick magnets to) and a couple of pictures and some things to hang my rulers and hold up the ironing board and the room will be complete! I promise to take pictures when it's totally done.

I did get to get in there and actually use the room today which was awesome. It's not that I haven't sewn since moving, because I certainly have. It's just that I've been doing it amid piles of junk, working on the very corner of my desk, stepping over things to move around the room and generally feeling cramped and overwhelmed when I entered the room. Now everything is organized, in theory I know where it all is (in truth it will take me a few months to get used to the set-up and remember where I decided to put everything, but it's a start) and it's quite relaxing to work in there.

Sunny came over today to help me work out a cutting diagram for a Eura dress. Despite our best efforts it still came out just a touch on the skinny side. Totally wearable, but I'm hoping future versions (where I don't cut a 6" strip off the side of my fabric because there's a massive flaw there) will end up fitting better. On the upside, I now know that I can make a dress for myself out of less than 3 yards of fabric including shrinkage. I might even be able to get away with 2.5 yards depending on the shrink, as long as I'm left with 82" to work with (which is exactly what I had today). How cool is that? Just have to get it hemmed and finish up the embellishment around the neck and it's ready to be packed. 1 down, 4 more to go I think. Then a few aprons and as many dresses for Georgia as I can fit in to the time.

On the downside, very little fabric left to turn into something for Georgia today. I figure that 6" strip might make a nice little apron dress for her if I'm willing to do a bit of piecing.

Anyway, off for my 4 hours of sleep. It's nice that my body is finally back to the point where I can function on less than 8 hours. Not that I should be making a habit of it, but it's nice not to crash.
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I've hit the Ugh Point in my efforts to clean my sewing room. You know how when you're cleaning and organizing you put away the things you love first. Then the things you think are just okay but are easy to find a home for. And finally you get down to the point where all you have left are things that you look at and go "ugh". It's the stuff that you could maybe throw out, but if you hold on to it you might find a use for it. Or the things that are an awkward shape to store. Or the weird odds and ends that simply don't fit into your organization scheme anywhere so you can't really figure out where to put them that you might have a chance of finding them again if you wanted to.

The curtains are hung, the wall of fabric is all stacked and sorted neatly and I've stashed as much ugh as I could into boxes and baskets, and still I have junk on the floor and not a single surface is entirely cleared. Sunny is coming over tomorrow to help me fit a euro dress (not that much fitting, I'm just having trouble figuring out the math with the gore that runs from wrist to ankles) and she brings with her a very mobile but very young baby so I really have to have the place spotless. Up to now we've just closed the door to that room, but that won't do when the whole plan is to work in there. I'm thinking I might just call it a night and tackle it again in the morning.

In other news, the yard warming party went well on Sunday, though not entirely as I'd planned. I got the house mostly cleaned, with just a few dishes and the mopping of the kitchen floor left to do. Outdoors it was perfect. I hadn't refinished every piece of furniture yet but it was all perfectly serviceable and nicely arranged. It was an ideal set up except for one little thing I hadn't counted on... the muggy hot weather. People showed up, said "nice yard" and immediately fled to the air conditioned comfort of the kitchen. The kitchen where there are only 5 chairs. Not exactly ideal for a group of 15 people. At any rate, everyone got fed with plenty of everything left over. Everything wrapped up around 8 as planned. It's still not completely cleaned up (I've been too tired to face dishes and G was a bit cranky today so I was all for using that as an excuse).

Saturday was a local SCA thing. Jason elected not to come. Georgia and I attended. I mooched my way through the pot luck meal. I had intended to just run home to eat as we lived a mere 10 blocks away or so but someone insisted I borrow a plate and eat since there was more than enough to go around. I figure I had enough karma points as I've hosted a few things at my place and had a free eats table at an event here when I was pregnant. There was live music which G enjoyed. And other children which were at times a pleasure as Georgia found them interesting and at other times an irritation as they insisted they should be able to play with Georgia's things without letting her touch any of theirs and they were often not as careful as I'd have liked them to be around the baby. G bit me while I was feeding her as I tried to move while doing it so I've been a bit tender for the last few days. Seems to be clearing up after what has felt like forever, but which I realize is only 2 days. Used one of my fancy new slings to back carry her for a large portion of the event and she seemed very pleased with that arrangement.

The gentleman I'm speaking to is Stefan of Stefan's Florilegium. Really nice guy and one of my favorite people here. And one of the few people with whom I was not talking politics that day.

The event concept was an interesting one. It's something they call "land court" and the idea is that you petition the B&B for land for your persona based on your titles and the taxes you promise to pay by your intended use of the land. I was asked to head up the local fiber arts guild so promised I would use whatever land was due to me to raise sheep. I was given the 400 acres accorded to my status and an extra 100 for the promise of woven trim to be given as largesse. I was also gifted with 100 acres to hold in trust for Georgia. They had someone calligraphing names and the size of the plot on charters (like scrolls but photocopies on nicer than standard paper) which I thought was really cute. I had mine displayed on a bookshelf but I see that it has moved so I should probably ask Jason in the morning what he has done with it. You then get to write in on a giant map of the city and surrounding area where you would like your land to be. Very cute concept and a bit of fun persona play.

Other than the actual in-court stuff people spent a great deal of time discussing the mundane. Especially the health care thing. Very polarizing issue. The native Austinites all seem in favor of the plan. Anyone who has moved in from the more conservative parts of the state (ie everywhere else) seemed to actually believe the whole Obama death panel bullshit the republicans have been throwing around. One guy actually said something to the effect of "my wife and I are resigned to the fact that we'll die under this new plan because the funds will be allocated to certain races and on a priority level by age and there just won't be anything left for us if we need it" Funds allocated by RACE?!?!?! What kind of crack is this guy on? He followed up that gem with "this bill will kill the insurance companies. Maybe not immediately but in the next 10 years. And then it will all be handled by the government" My retort was "and you say that like it's a bad thing." He changed the subject very quickly when I stated that I'd done some research when I was pregnant that indicated our infant mortality and maternal mortality rates were the worst in the civilized world, even when you take the uninsured out of the equation, and that we also spend the most per capita. How can a system in which you spend the most but get the least be a good thing? He quickly changed the subject after that. Typical republican. When faced with actual data and facts that don't fit their world view they just pretend they didn't hear it. Much better to blindly believe the hyperbole and outright lies coming from their leaders and Fox Newscasters. *sigh*

People keep pointing out that their health care must be good because people come from other countries to get care here. Yes and no. There are 2 types of people who come here for care... people with the money to buy whatever they need and the people who enjoy the charity of coming from a third world nation with some kind of strange affliction that will get the attention they need to get people to donate to their transportation and treatment. Of course it's better care than what the person in the third world nation is getting, and that other person is coming for one of 2 things, either they are too impatient to wait for something non-critical in their country's socialized system or they need some cutting edge thing that is only being done here. That's not to say that all the cutting edge work is being done here either, just that the particular thing they need is. But the truth is that people do the exact same thing in Canada except for the queue jumpers. We also have third-worlders come and get charitable donations to have treatments performed in our system and people coming to enjoy cutting-edge procedures being performed only inside our borders. But we also get Americans crossing the border into Canada to get health care less expensively than they could in the States. If the system is so great why would someone with access to it choose to go elsewhere eh?

On one hand I feel very strongly about health care and don't mind letting people know where I stand. On the other hand I feel like the people on the other side aren't going to listen to me anyway, so other than stating that I disagree with them (just for the purpose of giving them an idea that maybe they are not as much of a majority as they'd like to believe) I don't see much point in having the discussion. They are never going to convince me that the for-profit model is the right way to do things and I never see myself getting through to them so it's rather a lot like banging my head against a brick wall, and at the end of the conversation I always have a head ache like I've been doing just that. There are so many things that I feel so strongly about that are coming in under that "too frustrating to discuss" category (abortion rights, gay rights, women's rights and the importance of labor laws that promote healthy families and support equal opportunity for women).

However, even when people share my views, and there were many there that did, it's still not the kind of talk that puts you in a medieval mindset.

to sum-up: socialized medicine = good, idiot rhetoric-spouting republicans = bad. Talk of nothing but modern politics at an event = bad.

G baby spent most of the event playing happily on my cloak on the floor and charming everyone that walked past. Everyone complimented her on being an excellent, well-behaved baby, which of course she was because we were out in public where she could flirt.

Finally, a bit of Georgia news. Jason insists that she did her first sign on Saturday. He thinks that she asked to be changed twice that day. He noted that she didn't struggle or squirm as much during the change as usual, which confirmed his opinion that she'd asked for it. She hasn't done it since though, so I'm not sure if it was intentional or that her hands just made the gesture by accident. However today she definitely accomplished something that she hadn't before. I had her standing holding on to the rail at the side of her crib while I ran her diapers down to the laundry. When I came back a minute later she was facing a different direction and holding on to a different rail. Later in the afternoon she repeated the feat while I was watching, side-stepping her way along the railing from one end of the crib to the other, screeching with delight the whole way. Step one of cruising is complete. She's still got a ways to go before she's walking, and she has yet to master pulling herself up to a sit much less a stand, but the days of a relatively easily contained child are coming to a close. She's also getting much closer to a crawl. The tummy still drags on the ground but she can really motor around the floor now, crossing the entire room to the exact spot she wants to get to in a minute or less.


Jun. 1st, 2010 03:52 pm
norsegirl: (Default)
To all that asked, this is a soaker:


It does not fit terribly well. I made it way too large, tried to felt it down and while that worked for most of it, the legs are still really large. I might try to put elastic or a dart in them. Or I might just not worry about it, we'll see. In that picture she was just trying it on over her clothes.

I made another one on smaller needles and the results are here:



As you can see, it fits a little better but is still not maybe as tight as it should be (which is fine as I was aiming for it to fit for Pennsic). She's actually wearing it as a diaper cover right now. She's been up napping for a bit so it's time to check and see if it actually performs well as a diaper cover or if those hippies that use wool are just on crack. (she's sleeping on a waterproof mattress pad, so now was the perfect time to check)

I've also knitted another one based on a different pattern and I'm nearing completion on that one, so we'll see how that behaves.

Off to see how G is doing...
norsegirl: (Default)
I treated myself to a really lovely new German baby wrap. It is absolutely divine and makes the back carry pretty easy. Georgia loves the back carry and giggles and screams if I use the carrier like a hammock swing. Good purchase, and will be our primary mode of transport for her at Pennsic I think. At this point I'm planning on not bringing a stroller because it's modern, takes up valuable space in the car and will be hard to maneuver in some Pennsic spaces. Is that a good idea or am I being stupid?

This weekend I haven't accomplished anything I really wanted to. Sewing room still isn't in sewing shape. Floors are still not cleaned. Outdoor furniture is still not refinished. We're having a party next weekend so the house needs to be immaculate and there's all the Pennsic prep still to be done. Instead I hung around and knitted. Also Georgia got to have her first "swim" this afternoon.

baby swim )

I've still got a few hours of weekend left to do some of the work that needs to get done, so time to get to it.


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September 2010

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